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8 Quick Facts About Hanukkah

It's been a whole year since we dusted off the menorah for Hanukkah, so here's a quick reminder of all the basics from why we eat doughnuts and eat chocolate money to who the Macabees were and what they were fighting for... In the second century BCE the Maccabees recaptured the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Greeks. The first thing they did was light the golden menorah. They could only find one jar of oil which is only enough to burn for one day, but it burnt miraculously for 8 days. Today we light a menorah for 8 days to recall this miracle and to be inspired by its message. 8 Quick Facts About Hanukkah (click to download the printable PDF version) 1. The war of the Maccabees was the world's first ideological war fought by a small band of pious Talmudic scholars who engaged in some stealthy warfare (in Israel you can visit the caves they hid in) 2. Around 17 and a half million oily doughnuts (sufganiyot) are eaten every year in Israel over Hanukkah commemorating th read more

December 10, 2014

Hanukkah Hack: Doughnut Cupcakes

Making traditional Hanukkah doughnuts can be a seriously messy mission which involves a lot of hot oil and jelly getting everywhere it shouldn't. But it's Hanukkah, and you can't have Hanukkah without indulging in a few amazing homemade doughnuts - so unless you can dial up a granny, or you have some incredible skills, you need a good "Hanukkah Hack". Introducing the Hanukkah Cupcake: tastes like a doughnut, only 10 times easier. Ingredients: 1 cup milk or coconut, almond or soy milk 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 1/2 cups flour 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup canola oil 1 cup plus sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup raspberry, strawberry, or grape jelly, caramel or chocolate sauce 1/4 cup powdered sugar candles or candies Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with paper liners. 2. In a mixing cup, combine the milk, vinegar, read more

December 10, 2014

“It’s Challahween” Recipe

Turns out Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, so if you feel like adding a little pumpkin spice to your Shabbat and calling it "Challaween", then here's the perfect recipe for some seriously tasty pumpkin challah bread.   Cook Time: 2h 30min | Makes 12 Servings   Ingredients: 1/2 cup warm water (about 100 degrees) 1 1/2 packages active dry yeast 3 cups white flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup pumpkin puree 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 egg + 1 egg yolk for the dough and 1 egg for the glaze   Directions: Mix the yeast and hot water in a bowl and leave it for 10 minutes to dissolve. Meanwhile, mix the flours, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large bowl. In the bowl with the water and yeast, whisk in pumpkin puree, 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, oil, and honey. Make a well in your flour mixture and add in the pumpkin mixture to form a dough. Add more flour if your dough is sticky. read more

October 26, 2014

Israeli Slang 101

Coming to Israel? Well then it's time to brush up on your Hebrew / Israeli slang! We've put together 14 of the most commonly used and easy to remember phrases for you, so here it goes: 1. Sababa Meaning: Cool, chilled, great, right on Example: Hanging out on the beach in Tel Aviv is "Sababa"   2. Al ha panim Meaning: Literally translates to "on the face" but in slang it means you don't feel good or something is old, tired, not great or tasteless Example: Yesterdays tuna sandwich now tastes "al ha panim" or after going out last night I feel "al ha panim"   3. Arsim and Frechot Meaning: The Israeli equivalent of these types of people - "Frecha" is for a female, "Ars" is for a male. Example: think fake tan, extra long bedazzled nails, animal print, muscle tops, and diamond jewelry for men   4. Combina Meaning: Something "under the table" or "off the record" or acquired only through connections. Also means using an item for someth read more

October 23, 2014

Rosh Hashana Apple Pies

This has to be the easiest quick fix for homemade apple pie, and it's come just in time for Rosh Hashana!   Ingredients:   5 - 6 Granny Smith green apples (that stand up on their own) 1 tsp of cinnamon 5 cloves (optional) 1 tsp vanilla essence 1/2 cup of brown sugar pie-crust (store-bought or homemade)   Directions:   Step 1: Cut off the tops of 4 apples and remove the inside with a spoon or melon baller, being careful not to puncture the peel. Set aside the insides for Step 2.   Step 2: Peel your last 2 apples and slice very thinly. These apple pieces will give you the additional filling needed to fill the four apples you are baking.   Step 3: Mix your sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves in a bowl & scoop the mixture into your hollow apples.   Step 4: Roll out the pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips. Cover the top of the apple in a lattice pattern with the strips.   Step read more

September 21, 2014

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